I have the following sentence and I'd like to hear your opionon on that:

"Electrictiy generated from photovoltaics..."

Is it correct to use the term "photovoltaics" or do I have to use "photovoltaic systems"?

I'd appreciate every comment and would be thankful for your help.

  • Electricity generated from photovoltaic cells. 'Photovoltaics' is a branch of technology, not an electricity generation system. Commented Aug 18, 2020 at 16:32
  • Thanks Weather for your comment. But I want to put emphasis of the PV rooftop system itself not on the cells.
    – PeterBe
    Commented Aug 18, 2020 at 16:34
  • Please see my edit. Commented Aug 18, 2020 at 16:34
  • 2
    Depends on your audience, and the stuffiness of the publication.
    – Hot Licks
    Commented Aug 18, 2020 at 16:59
  • 1
    @BoldBen - Many people would understand "photovoltaics" without need for an introduction. I've certainly seen it used dozens of times.
    – Hot Licks
    Commented Aug 18, 2020 at 21:19

1 Answer 1


It is correct because the meaning is clear, unambiguous, and concise.

There are already long-established precedents in scientific usage: mechanics, electrostatics, hydraulics, kinetics ... a long list of nouns derived from adjectives, in each case encompassing a large body of knowledge or practice within one word. It is neither necessary nor helpful to replace such terms by noun phrases such as “mechanical systems” or “photovoltaic cells” unless the further discussion of the matter justifies it.

  • Thanks Anton for your answer.
    – PeterBe
    Commented Aug 19, 2020 at 7:51

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.